72 DOGS AND ALL ABOUT THEM
torn off, they drag along the ground, and so prevent the poor animal from moving with any degree of comfort or freedom. Some few owners, who admire and cultivate these long cords, keep them tied up in bundles on the dog's back, but so unnatural and unsightly a method of burdening the animal is not to be commended.
Corded Poodles are very showy, and from the remarkable appearance of the coat, attract a great deal of public attention when exhibited at shows ; but they have lost popularity among most fanciers, and have become few in number owing to the obvious fact that it is impossible to make pets of them or keep them in the house. The reason of this is that the coat must, from time to time, be oiled in order to keep the cords supple and prevent them from snapping, and, of course, as their coats cannot be brushed, the only way of keeping the dog clean is to wash him, which with a corded Poodle is a lengthy and laborious process. Further, the coat takes hours to dry, and unless the newly washed dog be kept in a warm room he is very liable to catch cold. The result is, that the coats of corded Poodles are almost invariably dirty, and somewhat smelly.
At one time it was suggested that cordeds and non-cordeds were two distinct breeds, but it is now generally accepted that the coat of every well-bred Poodle will, if allowed, develop cords.
Curly Poodles, on the other hand, have advanced considerably in favour. Their coats should be kept regularly brushed and combed and, if washed occasionally, they will always be smart and clean, and pleasant companions in the house.
The four colours usually considered correct are black, white, brown, and blue. White Poodles are considered the most intelligent, and it is certain that professional trainers of performing dogs prefer the white variety. The black come next in the order of intelligence, and easily surpass the brown and blue, which are somewhat lacking in true Poodle character.